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Hillary Gardee murder: Defence for 2 accused raises concerns over investigation

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Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo, representing Albert Gama and Philemon Lukhele, highlighted the police’s handling of a confession which vindicates his clients.

The bail application for accused number 1, Sipho Mkhatshwa, is being heard on 22 July 2022. He is joined by his two co-accused, Philemon Lukhele and Albert Gama. Picture: Mbhele Buhle/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG – The defence for two of the four accused in the Hillary Gardee murder is expressing concern over progress in the police investigation.

Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo, representing Albert Gama and Philemon Lukhele, highlighted the police’s handling of a confession which vindicates his clients.

The two appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrates Court where they were applying for bail.

The accused face six charges for the rape and murder of former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee’s daughter in April this year, whose body was found dumped near a plantation between Sabi and Mbombela in Mpumalanga.

It remains to be seen whether the Mpumalanga police commissioner and spokesperson will show up in court.

Defence Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo wants to call the pair to explain reports that the fourth accused confessed and told his Facebook followers that he acted alone.

Mlilo believes that “something is rotten here”.

He has also requested access to the suspect’s confession.

Commissioner Simakaleng Manamela and Brigadier Selvy Mohlala have both in the media revealed that the suspect did indeed admit to committing the crime.

All four accused remain in custody, with two having lost their bail bids, and will return to court on Monday.

The court has indicated that it cannot deny the accused permission to subpoena any witness.

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